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Joseph H. Lewis
Dame May Whitty,
The killing of Mayor Palmer is being placed on Paul Moody by fingerprint expert Jim Stover as Moody's prints were found on the murder weapon. When reporter Brad Evans places doubt in Stover's mind that the fingerprints were Moodys, he decides to investigate further with the help of the mayor's daughter Carolyn. Written by
Les Adams <email@example.com>
Which is not to say that entertaining, even good-looking pictures couldn't be made economically during the Classic Era. But there is a level below which the cheapness of production will betray even the best of stories and a solid cast. Fingerprints Don't Lie sinks as far below that point of no return as possible. Not to imply that a good story or a competent cast was around for the atrocious production values to betray. This astonishingly awful picture features one of the most ignominious displays of tacky sets peopled by seedy actors in the history of cinema.
Richard Travis, the tenth magnitude star of this Z-grade cops-and-robbers programmer was a wooden actor at his best. Here, under the inept direction of Sam Newfield, Travis and rest of the cast turn into a virtual petrified forest. Cimematogaphy, as well as direction, is remarkably bad. A single camera simply follows the actors around the small, shabby sets, or sits still as they stand stiff as manikins blankly reciting the dull dialog. Instead of springing for a decent orchestral score , cheap, tightwad producer Sigmund Neufeld settled for a weird, screechy, and very irritating organ accompaniment, which at times when there was no dialog made it seem like watching a silent movie -- a very, very bad one. Speaking of irritating, Sid Melton in what was presumed to be comedy relief, was excruciatingly irritating as he pulled the same unfunny camera gag over and over.
Not even the presence of veteran character actor, Lyle Talbot could save this turkey. Nor could frequent shots of a certain buxom, Swiss model and Burlesque queen in a two-piece bathing suit. Oldblackandwhite is too much the gentleman of the old school to blacken the names of any of the lady players by connecting them in print to such a shamefully awful picture as Fingerprints Don't Lie.
Cheap, dull, slow-moving, lifeless, even stupid, this movie is a serious stinker! Not recommended even for the most abysmally desperate insomniacs or even those peculiar old ladies who will watch practically any mystery. All involved in this wretched production from producer and director down to prop man and gofer should be ashamed of it. Come to think of it, why am I reviewing it, when I should be ashamed of watching it? Uhg!!!!
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